Ready Player One

In the 2018 Reading Challenge “Ready Player One” satisfied the book made into a movie category. I originally found this book at an independent bookstore, and picked it up based on the snippet written by a staff member. Some time after I purchased the book, I went to the movies. While I was anxiously awaiting the movie to begin, I saw a trailer for a movie of this book. It captivated me and I felt the urge to move this book up on my TBR list.

“Ready Player One” is an adventure read that is sure to capture a variety of readers with its elements. This book has just about everything from video games and virtual reality, good guy vs bad guy, a hero, 80’s throwbacks and a little budding romance. It’s unbelievable how Ernest Cline found a way to encompass such a variety into his writing. The variety adds to the story line making it spectacular.

The best, yet possibly most cliche part of the story was the battle between the good guys trying to save the world, while the bad guys just want everything for themselves. This served as the main point of conflict in the story, and what a joy it was to read. Ernest Cline’s writing brought thrill to the battles and anticipation to how events would play out. He keeps the reader on the edge of their seat nearly guessing at who is going to win, eagerly awaiting the excitement of the final battle.

While reading, I found myself intrigued, wondering about how this story would look in real life, particularly involving virtual reality. Virtual reality in real life is just starting out, while in the book it’s nearly a main character. I couldn’t help but wonder how different life would be if the book came to life. What do you think life would be like if “Ready Player One” came to life?

 

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The Philosopher’s Flight

In the 2018 Reading Challenge “The Philosopher’s Flight” fell under the category of book published this year.

“The Philosopher’s Flight” is sure to dazzle, and impress readers’ looking for a historical novel with a magical twist. The setting: World War 1 America with women having the ability to fly and transport, while the men play supporting roles. The tale includes family conflict, a young man coming of age. flying, romance, and triumph. The simple version, it includes the right elements to make it a story worth sharing.

The world Tom Miller creates captures the senses of the reader, giving them the full experience. I found myself vocally expressing my feelings multiple times throughout the course of the book. The writing and story grabbed a hold of me and just wouldn’t let go.

The best, or at least one of my favorite parts, it the coming of age story that takes place. In this world where woman have the ‘cool’ flying jobs, men have the supporting roles. Except, of course, for a young man looking to follow in his mother’s footsteps. He has his mind set to achieving his goal, while others keep telling him it can’t happen. This mostly, doesn’t stop him. He wants to do it, and achieve nothing less than the best. His perseverance is amazing, and something I admired.

What first attracted me to this book was that the woman dominated this world. What kept me interested was Tom Miller’s writing. This book is sure to impress many other reader’s like myself, and I hope you take the time to check it out.

Pride and Prejudice

I read “Pride and Prejudice” as part of the 2018 Reading Challenge. I chose this for the classic book category after it was mentioned in multiple conversations. While I have read other books that may be considered a classic, “Pride and Prejudice” felt like the real deal.

While “Pride and Prejudice” falls under the romance genre, it felt different from others that I have read. In this case, there was more dialogue involved in the story, courting, lots of dances and some laughter. As a bonus, it wasn’t obvious that the guy was going to get the girl or vice versa. These are all characteristics from Jane Austen writing this book in a different time period, and it is reflected well in the story.

Jane Austen’s writing had a sit and savor the story feel, rather than an eager to see what happens sort of feel. In some ways, it felt like I was reading a show, rather than watching it. This was a nice change of pace for my reading. “Pride and Prejudice” would be the perfect book to sit back during a storm in a cozy chair with a cup of tea, to savor time indoors.

The best part about “Pride and Prejudice” is the characters. The personalities of the characters, combined with the difference in time period made for an entertaining read. Each character was unique, and the writing helped them shine in their own light; especially if opposing characters were together in a scene. If I had to pick a favorite it would probably be Elizabeth. Her attitude was top notch, and almost seemed ahead of her time. She is a gal after my own heart.

Reading “Pride and Prejudice” was a delightful change of pace that has opened my eyes to the beauty of a classic book. Upon finishing the book, I almost felt like a more rounded reader because of it.

 

Hardened Hearts

“Hardened Hearts” is a collection of short stories about love. However, it’s not a normal take on love and the effect it has on the characters in a story. These stories, each with a different author, take on a darker aspect when it comes to love.

This different aspect of love is what makes this book, and the stories it contains unique. The way the authors portrayed love made the story jump to life off the pages. The stories also contained magical elements with a little bit of reality mixed in. The style has a way to awaken the imagination of the reader.

What made the book unique, also made the book a little bit harder for me to get through. The powerful stories are out of my normal reading range, and the darkness was a bit more difficult for me to get through. I found it better to sit, enjoy a story at a time, rather than trying to read as much as possible in a sitting. It was definitely a step, though nearly a jump, outside of my reading comfort zone.

“Hardened Hearts” is a bit difficult for me to review, but I am thankful I took the time to read something so different. This book seems like it is meant for somebody who may like darker tales than myself.

The Thirteenth Tale

“The Thirteenth Tale” was my blind date, for a blind date with a book from the 2018 Reading Challenge. I’m honestly not sure I could’ve found a better book for myself, not only as a reader, but in general for Valentine’s Day and the season of love.

What sets “The Thirteenth Tale” apart is the uniqueness of its story. This is a book that highlights the love of reading, the desire to tell a story and an aspect of the life of a reader. Basically, it’s a book about reading. Who knew something like this was out there?

The writing was stunning; bringing a relatable story completely to life in the reader’s mind. The words have a way of flowing, bringing a sort of smoothness to the reading; adding to the already beautiful story. It was an appealing, and attractive writing style. Which, who doesn’t want that in a blind date?

“The Thirteenth Tale” is a unique book that deserves to have the story speak for itself. With captivating writing it is sure to attract readers and non-readers alike. This is a book that is hard to describe without talking about how it makes a person feel when reading it.

Startup

“Startup” is the perfect book if a reader is looking for a laugh out loud worthy, entertaining, pick-me-up sort of read. With a present day setting, all social media involvement included, it’s hard to resist putting down such a delightful read.

Doree Shafrir’s talent is on display with a style of writing that is sure to win all readers over. She brings characters to life, not forgetting a single ridiculous moment in their lives. She includes a little bit of everything in the book from humor to blackmail to marriage problems to the power of Twitter to how times have changed with technology. Doree Shafrir’s writing is nothing short of spectacular.

The story takes place in a New York turned Silicon Valley type with all the startup companies catering to developing another apps that people might use, or to help improve their life. Accompanying this are the journalists who are out there to write about all the happenings. Things are looking pretty standard for journalists until one of them happens to find what they think will be a big story. As this journalist gets deeper into the story, blackmail comes to play, hook ups are discovered in the office environment, and of course one person tries not to crack under pressure.

The writing brings the story and characters to life, leaving the reader no choice but to literally laugh out loud at some of the events in the book. Some of the events may even leave the reader in disbelief at what the characters are doing. This is quality entertainment at its finest.

Anybody who picks up “Startup” won’t be disappointed, and it is certain to brighten up their mood.

1984

“1984” is a thought-provoking book that will have the reader fully immersed in the story. This is where they will stay, in awe and wonder, until that final page is turned. The ending is no exception to the power that this book holds.

George Orwell reflects the potential of power and control of a governing agency well through his writing. He created a world that is unlike any other, and, contains relevance to life today. The lesson that can be applied is different for every reader.

The world contained in “1984” appears to be simplistic on the outside. However, as the reader gets further into the story they will discover the truth. There is more to the story than what is lying on the surface. This seems especially true as different parts of the governing agency are revealed to the reader. Each may appear to have one purpose, but there a lot of double meanings contained within the writing.

“1984” is a book about power. The power is contained within the story for the reader to discover in this new world. Power is also on display as it becomes apparent that this is a book that will stay with the reader. I personally think this is what makes some of the best books truly amazing, and this is no exception. While the ending contains the potential for mixed emotions, “1984” is without exception a powerful book I think more people should read.

The Circle

“The Circle” is an incredible book, that will hit the reader right to the core. It is amazing, powerful, and incredibly relevant to life in today’s world. It is a story that revolves around technology, and how it impacts life, and our interactions with people.

This is a book with a story that is all about technology, big companies and their impact on society. It’s an idea that is powerful, scary, and thought intriguing. In this case, it involves a company called the Circle. While the idea behind the company started out logical, semi-simple and helpful, as it grew it became something else altogether.

The main character Mae, is quite the individual. After getting hired by the Circle she feels incredibly lucky for the opportunity to work for the company, even in a beginner level position. After all, employees move up quickly in the system so she probably won’t be there long. Working at The Circle was a bit of an adjustment for Mae, the expectations were a little different than her previous job. After the adjustment period, and lessons learned, she came to realize what life at The Circle meant and started to excel. She found her place and everything felt right.

As the reader gets to know Mae during the story, and watch her grow as an employee they may notice conflicts she has with herself. At first the conflict is obvious, she is used to her previous way of life and is confused and taken aback by what her new company expects of her. She thinks her behavior is acceptable, The Circle doesn’t. They bring it up with her and the reader can feel the confusion she has about why this is a problem and how she can fix it. As her character grows the reader can see a change in her viewpoint. She thinks this is all ok and how it should be and is unable to understand why others in her life don’t seem to share her viewpoint.

The ideas The Circle had as the company grew could be considered rather disturbing, depending on the reader’s views. The main goal, they want to know everything, literally everything, taking mystery and guessing away from life. But, that’s not enough, they want the ability to track everything as well, bringing the concept full circle. In this world, secrets and a private life are something of the past. What the Circle sets out to do will leave the reader in disbelief, and possibly even appalled at the company’s behavior.

If you take the time to read this book, I ask if you could think about what it would be like to live in this sort of world. Can you imagine the impact that it would have on your life? Would your life be completely changed? How would you feel about a company that did the sort of things the Circle did? These are just some of the things that came to my mind as I read the book. It’s the type of book that gets a reader to think, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Last Christmas in Paris

“Last Christmas in Paris” was a delightfully simple yet heart-warming read. This was just the sort of book to read this time of year to get me in the spirit of love, hope and a little holiday cheer. There are only a few characters in the story, and that’s all it needs to keep the story alive and prospering for the reader.

One of the best aspects of the book, is how it reflects the time period the story takes place in. It’s amazing and beautiful how the author reflected so much through the letters. There is so much emotion felt within the writing, containing the power to draw the reader in further. Hazel Gaynor has the power to make the reader wonder why we don’t do things like that as much anymore.

“Last Christmas in Paris” is all about beauty within the story. The setting of the book is beautiful. There is love mixed with tragedy, reminiscing on the favorite moments of life, and snow in Paris. It’s too perfect to not read during the holidays. I only hope that you enjoy the book as much as I did.

Middlesex

“Middlesex” is a beautifully written story following the life and history of Calliope Stephanides, showcasing what makes this character different. It’s no wonder this book is on Oprah’s Book Club list. It’s strikingly different, smoothly written and catches the reader with its captivating story line. This is a book with the power to make the reader think twice on judging a person by their appearances.

This is the type of story that attracts the reader, and has the power to change the way they think. To the reader it may feel like this is a story about a person looking at their past and family history for explanation; while also looking for signs of how they become their current self. It’s almost a journey of self-discovery, harsh truths included. The reader may even be left to wonder how they might feel if they read an actual classic (if they haven’t already).

The conflict in “Middlesex” is mostly centralized around the main character. There is the conflict they have with themselves and with their parents. It appears that Calliope doesn’t blame her parents for their actions, or the confusion as she grew up. However, this all seemed to play a major role in the story and character development, especially the conflict the Calliope has with herself. It makes one think, are moments from the past little pieces that show the truth of who we really are?

When the back cover of this book is closed it’s hard to describe the feeling it will give the reader. “Middlesex” has the potential to make the reader feel smarter, more sophisticated or more cultured. There is something mysterious and beautiful awaiting the reader in the pages.

If I had a list of books under the title of must read or instant recommendation this would be included. Even though it’s hard to put into words how this book made me feel, this is one I think more people should read. It’s a book that as much as it’s about the story, it’s also about how it makes the reader feel.